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Batman

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Real Identity: Bruce Wayne
Affiliation(s): Justice League/Unlimited
Appearances (BTAS): All 110 Episodes, Mask of the Phantasm, Subzero, Mystery of the Batwoman, and Chase Me
Appearances (BTAS Comics): Demons
Appearances (STAS): Knight Time and Demon Reborn
Appearances (BB): All 52 Episodes (Except Hidden Agenda, Final Cut, Armory, Zeta and Inqueling) and Return of the Joker
Appearances (TZP): Shadows
Appearances (SS): The Big Leagues, Hard as Nails, A League of Their Own, A League of Their Own Part Two and Future Shock
Appearances (JL): Secret Origins Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Enemy Below Part One, Part Two, Paradise Lost Part One, Part Two, Injustice For All Part One, Part Two, Brave and the Bold Part Two, Fury Part One, Part Two, Legends Part One, Part Two, Knight of Shadows Part One, Part Two, Metamorphosis Part One, Part Two, Savage Time Part One, Part Three, Twilight Part One, Part Two, Tabula Rasa Part One, Part Two, Only a Dream Part One, Part Two, Maid of Honor Part One, Part Two, A Better World Part One, Part Two, Secret Society Part One, Part Two, Hereafter Part One, Part Two, Wild Cards Part One, Part Two, Starcrossed Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Initiation, For the Man who has Everything, Kid's Stuff, This Little Piggy, Greatest Story Never Told, Ultimatum, Dark Heart, Once and Future Thing Part One, Part Two, Doomsday Sanction, Clash, Panic in the Sky, Divided We Fall, Epilogue, Shadow of the Hawk, Flash and Substance, Dead Reckoning, Ancient History,Alive! and Destroyer
Appearances (TBATB): Night of the Batmen!
Appearances (DC Nation): Batman Beyond
Appearances (BTAC Comics): Hardware, Mentors Part 1, Mentors Part 2, The Darker Knight, Red Son Rising Part 1, and Red Son Rising Part 2
Appearances (DC FanDome): Beyond Batman
Skills: Knowledge of sciences, martial arts and other hand to hand combat, electronics, above average attributes, escape arts and infiltration
Voiced By: Kevin Conroy/ Gary Owens (50's)/ Michael Ironside (80's)/ Josh Hutcherson (Age 8)/ Kyle Alcazar (Kid Batman)

A family of three left their favorite movie theater in Gotham City's Park Row. The couple's son mimics a scene from "The Mask of Zorro". They take a wrong turn into an unlit alleyway. A desperate man with a gun demands the group's valuables. A scuffle follows. Within seconds, Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne are dead. Their son, Bruce Wayne has forever had his childhood stolen from him. Bruce became obsessed with avenging his parents' murder and created a plan for the rest of his life.

Once old enough, Bruce Wayne traveled the world and honed his body and mind to the highest physical peak. Along the way, he studied every known science including criminology, forensics, chemistry and psychology. Wayne trained under manhunters and martial arts masters and in time, became an unrivaled master, himself. He trained in Jiu Jutsu in Kurahawa, Japan under Yoru. Beforehand, Wayne traveled somewhere in Europe (possibly Turkey) or even in America, with the famous stage magician, Zatara. Zatara passed on his escape arts onto the young man. Wayne also trained in martial arts and possibly other subjects under the Master in Nanda Parbat.

Years later, Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City. He took on what most critics called a figurehead position as joint CEO in Wayne Enterprises, as he maintained a public image of a billionaire playboy. All the while, he stalked the night as a nameless vigilante. He struggled to win every fight, intent on trying to find a way to strike fear from the start. While visiting his parents' grave, Wayne encountered Andrea Beaumont. The two fell in love but Wayne was conflicted with love and his promise. He couldn't make any attachments and maintain a straight course in his never ending crusade. Wayne decided to propose to Beaumont. In that moment, a swarm of bats awakened from below and flew past the couple, leaving them in a state of fear. Beaumont's father was a businessman embezzling from the mob. Soon, he was forced to flee the States, with daughter in tow. Wayne was emotionally crushed but moved on.

Wayne investigated the den of bats and discovered a system of caverns that stretched beyond his 150 acre estate into most of Gotham. He converted the caverns into his alter-ego's base of operations, complete with state of the art technology pinched secretly from Wayne Enterprises Research and Development. Chemistry and forensics lab, a high-tech computer database, a secret driveway, dock and shrines decorated the cave. Wayne then created a suitable identity for himself. It was something to use the darkness as a weapon, to strike fear in the hearts of criminals, Batman.

In the early years, Batman was aided by his confidante, Alfred Pennyworth. He soon became the ward of an orphan named Dick Grayson. At age nine, Grayson was the first of Batman's partners. Originally an aerial performer, Grayson was personally trained by Batman and soon donned a costume of his own, Robin. Batman also befriended Gotham City's Police Commissioner James Gordon. Though Gordon didn't approve of Batman's methods, he recognized that Gotham would need all the help it could manage as the city began to witness the advent of bizarre monstrosities and murderous psychopaths in addition to the corrupting force of organized crime already present. Going on 10 years, Batman met another ally, Batgirl, who was actually James Gordon's daughter, Barbara.

In approximately Year 13, Batman and Robin parted ways. Dick Grayson longed to establish his own identity in the world and questioned Batman's plan. The last straw was when he learned that Batman had long deduced Batgirl's identity and never told him. For about three years, Grayson traveled the world in a manner similar to Wayne. Batman patrolled Gotham solo and focused only on the work. Pennyworth believed he was overworking himself. Deeply troubled by the accidental death of a gang member, Batman tracked The Wolves, the gang, to their watering hole, The Den. However, a fight was already in progress inside. A young boy wearing a hoodie and domino mask to hide his identity was fighting at least 12 members of the Wolves, all nearly twice his age, and was winning. The boy socked Alpha, the gang leader, as Batman entered. The boy picked up a dropped handgun but Batman took it away from him before he could use it.

Batman learned the boy was named Jason Todd and he was the younger brother of the gang member who died. He realized Batman was a kindred spirit and an idol to model himself after. Not long after that, Bruce Wayne decided to move Jason Todd to Wayne Manor, perhaps in part to fill the void left by Dick Grayson. Although Barbara Gordon's presence was sparse at the time, she shared Alfred Pennyworth's opinion that despite Wayne's best intentions, they thought Todd's admittance to the Batcave was premature. Jason Todd's training sessions exhibited his amazing energy and skill levels but also his unfettered ferocity. Although he was the equal of Grayson at his age, Todd showed signs of anger issues. He also looked at the Robin suit daily and obsessively. Pennyworth shared his concern with Batman. Batman assured Pennyworth he had it under control and they already had long discussions on the matter. Jason Todd would become Robin when Batman decided he was ready. That evening, Todd took the suit of its case without permission and joined a surprised Batman in a battle with Firefly.

Batman and the new Robin defeated Firefly. However, Batman was infuriated that Todd defiantly broke the rules. They argued back at the Batcave. Alfred Pennyworth set himself between them and demanded they either come to an understanding or walk away from the life forever. Cooler heads prevailed. Jason Todd stated his case from the heart. He told Batman he wasn't Dick Grayson, he couldn't be and wouldn't be. He swore to honor Batman's trust and asked for a chance. Batman accepted and they shook hands. The new partnership started off promisingly enough. Robin took his cues from Batman when it came to typical criminals. However, whenever a case involved a costumed villain, Robin took an alarming amount of zeal in doling out punishment to them. The more ruthless they were, the more determined Robin was to issue payback in kind. Even after Robin punched Scarecrow out of a building, Batman refused to accept the truth and played if off as exposure to Fear Toxin set off an extreme "fight or flight" response.

Alfred Pennyworth persisted that Jason Todd wasn't ready to be Robin but Batman told him to drop it. Two hours later, Pennyworth presented an analysis of Todd's Robin costume found no trace of the toxin. Batman revealed the conducted the same test an hour ago and got the same result. Jason Todd heard everything and became enraged that no one trusted him from the start. He declared he was leaving and grabbed his Robin suit. Batman tried to go to him but Todd drop kicked him. Batman insisted he had to be sure for all their sakes. Todd told him he wouldn't have to worry anymore then left the Batcave with a Batcycle. Robin started a campaign of brutality against criminals, even gunning Killer Croc off a battleship. No one knew Robin was acting on his own so the press hammered away at Batman's reputation and, by implication, Commissioner Gordon's. It became clear Batman had to act or the police would end it on their own. Batman scoured every square foot of Gotham but Robin stayed one step ahead.

Batman found Sid the Squid and hung him up off the top of a building near 3 in the morning. Sid insisted he had no idea where Robin was. Batman pressed him for anything he heard. Sid recalled Robin could learn some manners. Batman let go of his tie and he swung around. Sid panicked and confessed he heard the Joker was Robin's next target. Robin was beaten to death by the Joker. Batman found the warehouse Joker and Harley were holed up in. He was on the roof when he observed Harley being carried outside by two goons. He pounced on them. Harley volunteered to help Batman stop the Joker but he elected to leave her handcuffed outside. Joker announced Robin as the failed hero who tried to bring down the bad guys, a lame joke that was about to be erased. Batman arrived and objected. Joker tried to get Batman to admit Robin was asking for it. Batman ordered him to get away from Robin. Joker ordered his goons to open fire and assured them the tanks only contained Hydrogen so they wouldn't explode. He had it confused with Helium and they all exploded.

Joker ran for his car but the explosions launched it in the air and it landed on him. Batman freed Robin. Robin pleaded with him to end the Joker for him, for everyone he's hurt, and for everyone he's going to hurt if he lives. Batman told him they can't become what he is. Robin told him he would never become the Joker. He handed Batman the crowbar. To Robin's dismay, Batman used the crowbar to pry the car away from Joker. He tossed the unconscious Joker over his shoulder. Robin pleaded with him not to save Joker and used some tanks to stand up. Robin was caught up in another explosion. Batman ran Joker outside then returned and searched the rubble in vain. He dug through the wreckage until his hands bled but only found a piece of Robin's costume. Batman returned to the warehouse for weeks looking for a clue that would point to Robin's survival. After months of searching, Batman was unable to find his body and accepted the bitter truth that Robin was gone.

Batman fully endorsed Batgirl into the fold and took in another orphan, Tim Drake. Drake was the son of a small time crook that betrayed his employer, Two-Face. The trio became embroiled in Two-Face's latest blackmail scheme. Despite Batman's orders, Drake interfered and donned one of Grayson's earlier Robin costumes. Batman decided to allow Drake to become the next Robin and began to train him. Grayson returned to Gotham with a new identity, Nightwing. The four maintained a partnership and patrolled Gotham for several more years. New vigilantes emerged. The Judge turned out to be a third persona of Two-Face. Jack Ryder was inadvertently given super powers by the Joker on the seven year anniversary of the fateful night of his transformation from a fall into a vat of chemicals. Ryder named himself the Creeper. Batman came up with a patch to allow him to return to normal.

Batman and Bane came into conflict yet again. Half an hour after hitting Bane with a dart, Batman caught up to him, swung down, and decked him. Bane didn't flinch, grabbed an arm, then raised Batman over his head and promised to break him. The dart's contents finally took effect and Bane was rendered unconscious. Batman concluded he needed to quadruple the dose and retrieved the dart from Bane's back then noted it was only 10 pm after a giant robot made its presence known in the streets below. He checked on Bullock and an officer stuck in a car kicked onto its side by the robot then chased after it to WayneTech. It ripped the vault from its foundation. Batman appeared and told it to return the vault. The robot turned and shot at him, punched the ceiling, and left WayneTech. Batman fired his grapling gun and threw three exploding Batarangs at the robot. It was not damaged and threw a delivery truck at him then flew away.

Back at the Batcave, Batman was unable to detect any heat signature, generated by it, on satellite and concluded its flight capability was not by jet propulsion or any heat-generating means. He didn't think it was extra terrestrial in nature yet noted the vault it stole contained alien hardware lent by Superman for testing. Pennyworth yearned for days when the problem was the mob. He presented a merino wool and cashmere suit with a subtle blue strip for a cocktail party at Cloud Nine. Wayne wasn't interested. Pennyworth informed him Lex Luthor was a surprise guest. Veronica Vreeland cornered Wayne at the party and asked him why they ever split up and became friends on a whim. Wayne replied friends were good to have. Vreeland retorted they were good for cat sitting. Wayne reminded her he wasn't the marrying type. She teased he was a family man at heart since he just adopted another boy. He clarified Tim Drake was his ward and was with him for awhile. Vreeland mused the boys could use a mother's touch all alone in big, drafty Wayne Manor.

Lex Luthor interrupted and warned her against trying to elicit emotion from a lost cause like Wayne, citing he had experience himself. Wayne introduced them. Vreeland was charmed and recalled he was the notorious mastermind of Metropolis. Luthor advised her not to believe everything she read in the Daily Planet. He then requested a few minutes alone with Wayne and perhaps talk some sense into him. Vreeland obliged the request and invited Luthor to stop by and see her at the bar after. Wayne admitted to Luthor he was surprised to hear he was in town and he usually told him when he was. Luthor revealed he was in and out this time then admitted he wasn't particularly fond of Gotham, not since the incident with the Joker. Luthor then mused Batman wasn't to effective the night before against the robot that broke into WayneTech. Wayne chimed it could have gone better. Luthor even admitted Superman probably would have flattened it in no time. Wayne teased and asked for Superman's phone number since the two were so close.

Luthor replied it wouldn't help since Superman was missing in action since last week after a big battle on the Far Side of the Moon then asked Wayne what "they" got. Wayne was confused. Luthor was sure someone had to have programmed the robot. Wayne "wished" he could tell him more. Luthor told him to be that way and walked off. Later that night, Batman found the giant robot in a hangar at Claremon Airfield. After taking out an armed goon, he entered and hailed Alfred Pennyworth on comms to confirm he made it inside. Batman sighted the robot, now offline, and attached a miniature scanner to a leg. Pennyworth monitored the scanner's progress and inquired about the vault. Batman noted a device was about the crack the combination on the vault. He was suddenly shot in the back by a green energy blast. Lex Luthor, in a Lexcorp warsuit, was not pleased to see Batman and held him off the ground by his head.

Luthor assured him Superman wasn't coming to his rescue. Batman countered he was in over his head. Luthor stated he was about to lose his. The vault was opened and revealed an inactive head of Brainiac. Luthor proclaimed it was the future then revealed he watched Superman and Brainiac's latest fight from a lunar satellite and knew about the head. Batman told him he wouldn't find any secrets of the universe in it and there was no programming left because Brainiac uploaded himself somewhere into space before the battle ended. Luthor smacked him and claimed all he needed to find were fragments of Brainiac's programming then he could build on them. He slowly choked Batman. Estimating ten seconds of consciousness left, Batman recalled he figured out how to hotwire the head. He threw a Batarang into the Brainiac head and triggered its eye laser function. Luthor was blasted out of the hangar. Batman returned to the Batcave and was tended to by Pennyworth. He noted in vain that Batman's rib cage looked like an old picket fence.

Batman assured him he was taking protection with him. They walked upstairs to the Super Armor suit. Pennyworth inquired if it was enough to prevail over Luthor's suit. Batman assured him he just needed to get close enough to disable the suit's energy packs. Pennyworth asked about the robot and noted it even had a co-pilot chamber. Batman was curious. Pennyworth turned his attention to the scans, there was one cockpit in the front and one in the rear of the robot. Batman realized one was a battery and deduced Luthor kidnapped Superman and turned him into a solar battery to power the robot. Batman suited up and flew back to the airfield. Batman raised a guard by his leg and levitated high above the airfield. He caved and told Batman Luthor left an hour ago in a C-17 cargo plane. He swore that was all he knew. Batman asked him where the plane was headed. Batman caught up and punched the nose of the plane. Luthor flew outside and tackled Batman and blasted him. Batman realized the warsuit was at half-strength thanks to Brainiac's beam. Batman clocked Luthor.

Luthor retreated to the plane, shed the warsuit, and jumped into the robot's cockpit. Graves told him the plane was going down and exited with a parachute strapped on. The robot burst out of the plane and grabbed Batman. Luthor declared he wouldn't escape. Batman fired a taser into the robot and jolted it with a Kryptonite charge. Superman was roused from Luthor's mind control device and broke free from the robot using heat vision and his super strength. Superman grabbed Luthor and asked Batman if he minded if he took care of the rest. Batman obliged and advised him to take Graves, too, on the way. Superman returned in full costume and asked Batman how he knew he was in the robot. Batman explained he saw the schematics and realized what happened then deduced a Kryptonite charge would break his induced state. Superman declared he once again owed him. Batman requested he just get rid of Brainiac's remains, like throwing it into the Sun. Superman agreed and took off. Batman mused he really was a boy scout. Luthor hired Deathstroke to kill Batman over the debacle.

Batman, Robin, and Batgirl responded to Clayface's rampage at a downtown theater. Batman threw a Batarang then dodged a counterattack. They surrounded Clayface but before they could close in, he split in half and bolted in opposite directions. Batgirl and Robin pursued one while Batman went after the other. Deathstroke came to their aid and leaped down and sliced Clayface's head in half with a sword coated with a fast-acting sedative. Deathstroke promised Clayface would wake up in six hours with nothing more than a bad headache. He helped Robin up to his feet. Batgirl thanked him. Batman arrived with the other half of Clayface frozen and over his shoulder. He already deduced he was Deathstroke based on a code name associated with a mercenary matching his description. Deathstroke quipped he would be the first to advocate using a fear-inducing title then stated tonight, he could call him "friend" then bid them farewell. A Farmer Brown van drove by as Deathstroke was saying his goodbyes to Batman. Deathstroke flipped towards the van. Robin commented "awesome." Batman and Batgirl stared at him.

As a favor, Gordon pulled Interpol's records on Deathstroke after he appeared in the city. He went over the files with Batman in his office and remarked there wasn't much but if half of them were true, he was one of the deadliest men to ever carry a weapon. Before asking Batman what his interest in Deathstroke was, Gordon already deduced he was gone. He remarked that some nights it didn't pay to even look. Deathstroke later approached Batgirl and commended her and Robin, a testament to Batman's training, and without them the city would have rotted a long time ago. Batgirl sensed she was listening to a sales pitch. Deathstroke insisted he just meant there was a bigger theater for a woman of her talents and she could go far under his supervision. Batgirl stated she was doing just fine. Deathstroke questioned that and asked her if she was aware someone was watching her. Red Hood was surprised and bolted from his rooftop position.

That morning, Barbara Gordon briefed Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, and Alfred Pennyworth about the encounter. Drake was excited to hear Deathstroke thought he was good. Wayne cautioned him not to put much stock in his compliments. Drake was bummed. Wayne continued men of Deathstroke's ilk were only visible only when they needed to be. Pennyworth added and only solicitous when they wanted something. Gordon stated she definitely felt like he was after someone then moved onto the mystery man. Wayne asked she saw anything that could identify him. She admitted she only saw a shadow. Wayne was confident he would eventually tip his hand if he was really after them then advised them to keep their distance from Deathstroke until he learned more. Batman and Robin got a hot tip on the whereabouts of the Wonderland Gang. However, Batman ordered Robin back home since it was school night. Batman went alone to confront Mad Hatter and the Wonderland Gang. Red Hood observed from afar. Hatter ordered them to get Batman.

Batman kicked Carpenter then backhanded Walrus' face with a crowbar. Batman could imagine Robin using a "Tusk-tusk" pun and figured he would have enjoyed the fight. Batman threw an electric Batarang at March Hare and electrocuted her. Tweedledum and Tweedledee rushed Batman in unison. Batman simply knocked their heads into each other. Mad Hatter attempted to gut Batman with a fork lift but he jumped atop the roof, quoting Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Hatter drove through the wall and plummeted outside. Batman noticed the tiniest flicker of light from a old storage building nearby. He ran up the flight of stairs, jumped through a glass window, and fired his grapnel gun. He was 33 seconds too late. He searched the roof. The access door was dusty and untouched. Batman wondered what he was dealing with. Police surrounded Hatter down below. Batman was not pleased Robin cut off his comm line. From the Batcave, Pennyworth reminded him that Robin was at the age when defiance could be confused with independence. Batman asked him where he lost contact. Pennyworth recalled it was on Morrison heading for K Street. He asked if that helped any. Batman saw smoke. He jumped atop a fire truck responding to the Gotham Natural History Museum.

Batman swung in and kicked Firefly, unaware it was just Deathstroke's partner Sunny, from behind. Deathstroke observed and realized the steam created from the water would inhibit Firefly's vision and combined with Batman using infrared filters on his cowl, he had the upper hand. Batman decked Firefly enough to break the right eye glass. Firefly vowed Batman would burn next time then blew open an exit. Robin, Batman, and Deathstroke ran out into the street but Firefly was gone. Robin wanted to continue but Batman ordered him to go home immediately. Deathstroke mused he should have stopped Robin from joining him. He removed his mask then told Batman Robin and Batgirl were trained well. Batman noted Deathstroke took a lot of interest in his proteges and didn't like it. Deathstroke retorted they were more approachable. Batman asked him why he was in Gotham. Deathstroke stuck to his story that he was after Firefly but danced around who his client was, listing off agencies like the FBI, NSA, and MI:6. He even added Firefly's life was saved by Kobra because they wanted him to create a 9/11 level event in Gotham.

Batman stated he did not condone assassinations and wanted him to let him know once Firefly was located. Deathstroke agreed to keep him informed but realized Batman was already gone. Jason Todd observed from a nearby roof. Pennyworth and Wayne examined satellite footage of their stalker. Barbara Gordon joined them. Wayne noted they lost him in the shadows. Gordon was surprised he jumped to escape detection since the next building was half a block away. Pennyworth speculated he could fly. Wayne looked at him. Pennyworth quipped they did that in Metropolis. Wayne pointed out the stalker was using an extra thin cable but to pull off the feat, he had to be an athlete of extraordinary strength. Just after dusk, Pennyworth served dinner to Tim Drake and Bruce Wayne. Drake tried to get out of his punishment by mentioning the Bond movie had been out for awhile. Before he could finish his sentence, Wayne told him no. Drake pointed out his sentence was for Robin and he just passed his Geometry final. Wayne still said no. Pennyworth commended him for giving it a try. He looked up and couldn't believe the Batsignal was being projected already.

Batman went alone to the roof of the Gotham City Police Department and found all of the police present and Commissioner Gordon lying motionless. He checked Gordon's pulse. Deathstroke revealed himself and claimed they were all just subjected to knockout gas. He noticed Batman didn't bring anyone with him and noted it would be less complicated. Batman asked where Lynns was. Deathstroke affixed a grapple hook and rappelled down to his motorcycle. He teased Batman he would have to follow him to find out and reiterated Firefly was his, dead or alive. Deathstroke and Batman arrived at the Tri-State Dam and found an explosive charge. Deathstroke fed him the cover story that Firefly planned to take down the entire eastern seaboard. He readied his sai to disable the bomb while Batman went inside. Batman was already skeptical they were facing the real Firefly because he already noticed his movies were different and erratic, his voice lacked Lynns' moody, psychotic edge and he was wearing three inch lifts in his boots when he should be taller than him.

Firefly appeared and fired at Batman. Batman jumped off the walkway, turned, and threw a freeze capsule at him. Firefly plummeted and knocked out on the floor. Batman removed the mask and confirmed his suspicions. He has no idea who Sunny was but estimated she couldn't be over 20. Deathstroke converged on him with his Hephaestus Sword activated. Batman dodged his stroke and observed energy discharged from it cracked the floor. Batman tried to swing back up onto the walkway but Deathstroke sliced and the energy cut him across his back and severed his cape. Deathstroke then cut a column and collapsed the walkway. Deathstroke revealed he wasn't just trying to kill him, he was conspiring to take over Batman's operation. He noted Robin liked him but Batgirl was hesitant. He spilled the rest of his plan: to burn Batman's body to a crisp, frame Firefly for it, then motivated by his failure to save Batman – he would hunt down Firefly and kill him as he recovered with Kobra, and Batman's proteges would be so grateful then they would be under his wing in no time.

Batgirl and Robin heard everything and threw out rope around Deathstroke's arms then yanked him backwards. Robin remarked he thought Joker was a motor mouth. Deathstroke sliced the ropes and lamented the development but proceeded to kill them, too. Batman reached for the packs on the Firefly costume and threw a jar at Deathstroke. He sliced it and accelerant spilled all over him. He lit on fire. Deathstroke pointed out his suit was kevlar and he was only succeeded in making him look more menacing. Batman pointed out his suit would also heat up and guessed it was already 10 degrees higher. Deathstroke swung into a vat and triggered an explosion. He tried to escape and strip off his suit but Batman threw a fire extinguisher at his head and knocked him out. He then sprayed the extinguisher on him to put out the flames. Pennyworth tended to Batman in the Batcave while Batgirl ran an analysis on the note in the book. Robin inquired if he was no longer grounded. Batman asked about the fingerprints.

Batgirl reported, other than hers, the paper was clean. Pennyworth asked how she figured out the Tri-State Dam was the target. Batgirl noted she put two and two together. Robin added "they" did. Batgirl pointed out this all meant their stalker knew her secret identity. Batman finished her sentence and confirmed that meant he knew everything, even what their opponents were doing. Batman wondered what he wanted and why he was playing a cat-and-mouse game with them. Batman chased Catwoman roof to roof after she stole a crown. Batman contemplated if Tim Drake was right and he took his time chasing Catwoman. She taunted Batman and threw her bag up in the air. Batman threw out a line with a Batarang affixed and snagged the crown. She blew him a kiss but before she could escape, Azrael captured her with a bola and swung away with her. Batman briefly considered he was the mystery stalker from the last few weeks but concluded he was a new player. Batman fired his grapnel line and followed. Azrael activated his Sword of Sin and cut a water tower stand.

Batman disengaged his line from the falling tower and quickly fired it off again. In an alley, Azrael tossed Catwoman into a trash can and demanded the Shawl of Magdalene. She couldn't believe he wanted that "rag." He became agitated and pointed his sword at her head then promised he never kids. He mused the loss of eye would get his point across. Batman threw a Batarang and knocked the Sword of Sin out of Azrael's hand. Batman declared nobody was losing anything, except him and his patience. Azrael quickly leaped forward and socked Batman. Jason Todd observed from the roof up above and remarked Azrael was like a panther. Batman recognized his fighting moves and realized he was Jean-Paul from the Order of St. Dumas. Batman threw out gas balls and his hunch was right. Azrael's mask lacked filters. Azrael grabbed his sword and fled the scene, plowing through a wood fence before his reflexes slowed down further. Catwoman extricated herself from the bola. Batman ordered her to tell him about the Shawl. She admitted she stole it from some monastery.

Batman told her the Shawl of Magdalene was sacred to the St. Dumas priests and it was supposed to have healing properties. Catwoman teased she should put it over his heart. Batman grabbed her wrist and told her to get serious, a vengeful God ruled over the Order and they would have no mercy on her. She revealed she was hired to steal it and no longer had the Shawl. Batman warned her to tell him who hired her and offered protection. She complied and was taken into custody by the Gotham City Police Department. Commissioner Gordon was concerned Batman requested a 24 hour guard for her. He stated trouble was already here. Batman was hailed by Pennyworth on comms. Alfred Pennyworth informed him he had a visitor at Wayne Manor who requested his presence. Azrael held his flaming sword to Pennyworth's neck. Batman and Azrael retired to the Batcave. Azrael revealed he always suspected he was Bruce Wayne and it was confirmed when they fought earlier that night. He also revealed he always admitted Wayne's defensive skills.

Batman inquired about the costume. Azrael mused "when in Rome" and took off his mask. Jean-Paul explained he chose to wear something imposing while he tracked down Catwoman. Batman thought it was a bit too imposing. He revealed the priests gave him the name "Azrael" and wondered what they would have named Wayne had he stayed. Azrael admitted he wasn't surprised when Wayne left because he always knew he was only interested in learning fighting disciplines and not the Church. Batman teased he was always a late sleeper. Azrael guessed he didn't believe in the Shawl's power either. Batman left it at he would choose a physical over a piece of cloth. Jean-Paul stated Catwoman was going to suffer for stealing it. Batman informed him she was hired to steal it and she told him who the client was. Jean-Paul asked who it was. Batman laid down some ground rules: he had to drop his pursuit of Catwoman and he would be willing to help recover the Shawl. He even offered to make a new armor with Pennyworth that would make him look more ally than enemy. Jean-Paul stated he could be reasonable.

Batman and Azrael went to the Iceberg Lounge to question the Penguin about the Shawl of Magdalene. Penguin lauded them for being civilized and not delivering so much as a concussion to his staff. He offered them a little Arsenic. Batman cut to the point and demanded the Shawl. Penguin revealed he was just the middleman in the transaction and passed it on to the new and anonymous owner. Azrael knocked Penguin's drink and hat off and demanded a name. Penguin called out to Mr. Wing. A giant white humanoid bird entered the office and grabbed Batman. Penguin introduced him as his new wingman and the last name either of them would hear. Mr. Wing couldn't believe he got to ice Batman and some other loser on his first week of work. He told Penguin he had a bonus coming. Penguin ordered him to just finish them off. Batman gave the code "Sword of Salvation" and in unison, he and Azrael kicked Mr. Wing in the gut. He dropped them. Batman teased Azrael he had to skip evening prayers now and then to learn that move. Azrael chased after Penguin to the balcony.

Wing lunged at Batman but he warned the goon Penguin was notoriously cheap and didn't reward failure. Batman tossed Wing on to the bar then mused he might kick in for his medical bills. Batman ran to the balcony and saw Azrael already beat Penguin to a pulp to get the name of his client. He deemed Penguin would be Catwoman's substitute and take on her suffering. Penguin was tossed off. Batman snagged one his legs with a rope and pulled him up. Azrael left in the meantime. From a gargoyle nearby, Jason Todd watched the incident and couldn't believe Batman let someone else pull the vanishing act on him. He wanted Batman to pull his head out of his cape so he could see what's coming. While he drove around the city in the Batmobile, Batman spoke with Pennyworth over comms. Batman informed him Penguin was still resting in intensive care and wasn't going to be repeating who his client was. Pennyworth informed him the Batcomputer picked up an alert transmitted over the GCPD frequency. It was about a grave robbery of the body of Nora Fries.

Batman started his search at Iceland because Mr. Freeze used to use the ice rink to store his equipment. Batman was wary of Freeze because of his desperation to revive Fries. He found Azrael frozen solid. Mr. Freeze estimated Azrael had about 60 seconds left. Batman resorted to jilt Freeze out of his insanity by kicking the table Fries' corpse was resting on. Freeze was shocked and held her wrapped in the Shawl. Batman threw two Batarangs. One landed on Azrael. Batman pleaded with him to let him help. Freeze refused. The second Batarang pierced the back of Freeze's helmet and the sonic pulse it emitted shattered it. Batman grabbed the Freeze Gun and blasted his head. He guessed the ice would keep him breathing long enough for the police to arrive. The other Batarang shattered the ice around Azrael's head. Freeze fell on his back grasping at his collar. Batman could barely find a pulse on Azrael. He grabbed the Shawl and placed it on Azrael. It worked and he was saved.

Bruce Wayne and Jean-Paul went to the Church of St. Dumas. Wayne lit a candle to honor Fries and pray for Mr. Freeze's recovery. Jean-Paul was surprised by his compassion and mused one might almost call it saintly. Wayne retorted he wouldn't. Jean-Paul placed the Shawl back into its case and stated he owed his life to Wayne and the Shawl. Wayne speculated his resilience played a larger part in his survival but implored him to believe it if it was a comfort. Jean-Paul promised he would not be so impulsive next time. Wayne inquired what he meant. Jean-Paul clarified if he ever needed his help. Wayne told him he would let him know and thanked him. Not long after a skirmish on Amusement Mile, police and Batman went over the grounds. Commissioner Gordon informed Batman that Joker was seen on Jean Street, heading for the turnpike. Batman picked up a rod and lifted up a handgun. He deduced Joker had a visitor and it wasn't a friendly call.

Batman examined the gun over and over in the Batcave. He kept getting the same result, the prints on the bullets belonged to Jason Todd. Alfred Pennyworth noticed dinner was getting cold and brought it down to the Batcave. When Batman shared the revelation, Pennyworth couldn't believe it. Batman was certain Jason Todd was the mystery stalker. Pennyworth reminded him Todd was dead and he saw it himself. Tim Drake overheard and demanded to know what was going on. Batman stated he needed to get out to the city and told Pennyworth to tell Drake everything about Jason Todd. Batman drove to The Den, now long abandoned and boarded up, and found Jason Todd inside at the bar. He teased the "world's greatest detective" took longer to find him than he thought. He mused the bar had more sentimental value than Wayne Manor because it was the first place they met. Batman asked him what happened to him. He replied there wasn't much point to write to him after he was gave him up for dead after that night at the Joker's. Batman stated he searched everywhere for him.

Jason Todd admitted the one useful skill he learned was how to pull a vanishing act and he spent a few years to find himself while he recuperated. Todd revealed his new moniker to Batman, the Red Hood. He mused he would get the Joker soon enough and would take his time with everyone else on his list. Batman apologized about what happened and promised he would do anything to make it right. Batman quoted him, asking for a chance. Red Hood told him Bruce Wayne believed so much in the people he cared about that he blinded himself to the obvious. In his case, he was flawed from the start. Hood continued and told him he fooled himself into believing he could reach him despite Batman's steel-trap mind. Red Hood declared he was still playing the fool and pointed out the abandoned bar was full of whiskey bottles filled with gasoline. He got out his gun and opened fire, triggering an explosion. Batman leaped out and watched as Red Hood climbed up an escape ladder waving goodbye. Batman realized he wanted revenge, he was going to taunt and wear them down then finish them off when they least expected it unless he killed him first.

Batman feared for Leslie Thompkins and went to her Mercy Gotham Clinic in Crime Alley. Thompkins commended a little girl named Keri for coming to her quick to treat a bad cut. She prepared a tetanus shot. Keri stated she wasn't scared but was startled by Batman appearing behind Thompkins. Thompkins noted she hadn't started yet. Keri pointed to Batman. Thompkins assured her he wouldn't hurt her. Keri already knew he wouldn't hurt a child. Thompkins gave her a shot and told her to get home. Batman advised her to watch where she was going so she wouldn't get into anymore accidents. Keri thanked him and hurried home, excited she now knew Batman. Thompkins was amused by his advice and reiterated the clinic wasn't his personal emergency room. Batman cut her off and informed her Jason Todd was alive. Thompkins couldn't believe it. Batman assured her he was alive but angrier than ever. He figured he would come to see her since he always liked her. He warned her that Todd had been stalking them.

Thompkins yelled at him and admonished him for letting Todd run wild as Robin. Batman countered he was going to end it but he bolted. Thompkins didn't accept that and told him Todd was his responsibility, hers, Alfred's and he made them all culpable in what happened. She teared up and turned her back on him. She apologized and told him to leave. Just as Batman was about to step out the door. Thompkins apologized for lashing out. She understood he was hurt more than anyone, but she believed there might be a bigger cost to what happened.

Some time after Superman was brainwashed and unleashed on Earth by Darkseid, Batman was checking on a security anomaly at a Wayne Tech Satellite Observation Station outside of Metropolis. Instead, he encountered sleeper agents of a race of planet conquerors led by the Imperium. After being aided by Superman, Batman and the other people of Earth witnessed a full scale invasion. Batman followed Superman to a secret military facility and released the last Martian J'onn Jonzz, whom was held prisoner and was telepathically reaching out to super heroes. The three were joined by the Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman. The group was able to prevent the invasion's success. Batman, however, was still concerned with the likelihood of another alien invasion. Using funds and technology from Wayne Enterprises, Batman managed to secretly construct and launch a Watchtower into orbit around the Earth. It would serve as a space station to monitor deep space activity and act as a pre-emptive strike. The seven super heroes later formed the Justice League. Batman maintained he would stay on as a part time member.

While on the League, Batman went on to lay witness to may ordeals alien to any other denizen of Gotham City, the lost city of Atlantis, Greek myths come to life, a hidden city of technologically advanced apes, the New Gods, a nano-technological marvel called AMAZO, a millennia old dictator, an alternate reality or two and saving the space-time continuum, to name a few. Batman went onto be known as one of the founding fathers in the light of the expanded Justice League Unlimited. Though the founder's circle was often viewed as mutually exclusive, Batman recognized the importance of other members such as Green Arrow or the Question.

Some time later, when Amanda Waller was the official US military liaison to the JLU, Batman and Shayera Hol led a small unit to fight the second Royal Flush Gang. Waller arrived and warned the League that the Gang's founder, Ace was going to die of an aneurysm and the resulting psychic backlash would kill everyone within several miles. Batman accepted a device that would safely kill her. Batman ventured forward and confronted Ace, alone. However, Batman had no intention of using it. Ace found solace with Batman because he was the only person, she'd known that never feared her and later realized they were kindred spirits. Both had their lives stolen when they were children. Batman promised to stay by her side until she died and convinced her to undo the things she altered with her mind.

During, right before or after Batman resigned from the JLU, he went through a final battle that ultimately decided the fate of his partners in Gotham City. Dick Grayson had long left Gotham to establish himself in another city, Bludhaven. Tim Drake, Robin, one night, was on patrol by himself. He thought he was saving a woman from two hoodlums. Instead, Drake fell into a trap laid by the Joker. For three weeks, Batman and Batgirl searched every lead to no avail. Then, the Joker left a jack-in-the-box prop that revealed his location at the former Arkham Asylum. Batman and Batgirl discovered that the Joker had systematically tortured Drake and molded him into a crude replica of himself. In the process, Joker learned Batman's secrets. In the aftermath, Batman lay beaten but the Joker didn't completely succeed in turning Drake. Drake resisted and killed the Joker.

Joker was buried beneath Arkham, to which the only other person who knew was Commissioner Gordon. Dr. Leslie Thompkins was entrusted to help Drake. After a year, she succeeded. However, Batman blamed himself for allowing such a thing to happen and forbade Drake from being Robin anymore. Drake angrily struck out on his own. He attempted to repair his relationship with Batman, but with his inability and refusal to share his true feelings, Drake was frustrated and eventually retired.

For a time, it was just Batman and Batgirl. From Batgirl's point of view, their partnership was an ideal and romanticized one. The truth was probably somewhat skewed. But Batman has had fondness for her and several women over the years, Zatanna, Talia, Andrea Beaumont and Selina Kyle. In any case, Batgirl also eventually frustrated with Batman's outward insensitivity as Nightwing and Robin did and resigned.

Despite the tumultuous relationships, Batman managed to still prevent an epic global catastrophe initiated by one of his enemies, Ra's al Ghul. In what was later called the Near Apocalypse of '09, Batman won his final battle against Ra's al Ghul and saved the world. Parts of the world were still devastated. In time, they were restored by Ra's' daughter, Talia.

In the meantime, either due to ailing health and an effort to redouble his efforts, Batman devised and created a new Batsuit that would effectively turn him into a walking utility belt. However, the prototype version had an ill effect of straining his heart. 30 years later, with the final suit, Batman broke up a blackmail ring that kidnapped Gotham socialite, Bunny Vreeland. Batman suffered a heart attack and resorted to picking up a gun to scare off the last thug. Horrified, Wayne gave up and resigned as Batman. In that time, the financial cutthroat, Derek Powers of Powers Technology finally succeeded in a hostile takeover of Wayne Enterprises. Wayne no longer had the stride to fight it and became reduced to a mere presence among the Board of Trustees.

20 years later, a young teenager named Terry McGinnis while on the run from a gang of Jokerz, trespassed on Wayne's estate. After the scuffle, McGinnis helped Wayne get to his medication. McGinnis then encountered Wayne's dog, Ace whom he saved recently while visiting Crime Alley on the anniversary of his parents' deaths. McGinnis went into Wayne's study and discovered the entrance to the Bat Cave. Wayne woke up and chased him off. McGinnis later discovered his father left him incriminating evidence against Powers. He returned to Wayne who refused to do anything but refer him to the authorities, to which McGinnis didn't trust because of his own past. After he escaped an encounter with Powers, McGinnis stole Wayne's Bat Suit and infiltrated the Wayne-Powers compound. McGinnis convinced Wayne to let him avenge his father's murder.

Wayne hired McGinnis as a part time assistant while he mentored McGinnis as the new Batman. Together they fought resurgence in costumed criminals and metahumans like Inque, Spellbinder, Stalker and Shriek. Wayne eventually retook his position atop Wayne Enterprises and witnessed his pupil defeat old enemies. Wayne also mended fences with his former allies, Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon.

15 years later, Wayne suffered a kidney failure and needed a transplant to survive. Surprisingly, Terry McGinnis was an exact match. The chances were nearly improbable. McGinnis then discovered he was a genetic match, technically Wayne's son. Decades ago, Amanda Waller came to realize the world needed a Batman. She had some field agents collect blood samples and synthesized a DNA payload with nanotechnology. After rigorous profiling, the McGinnis couple was chosen. Whether Wayne knew or not, Warren McGinnis was injected and had his DNA overwritten with Wayne's. Though hiding his care like with his former allies, McGinnis eventually came to accept Wayne and continued on the legacy of Batman.